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Immigration Updates: September 25, 2023 – September 29, 2023

Immigration Updates: September 25, 2023 – September 29, 2023

PUBLISHED ON: September 28
USCIS Enhances Validity Period for Specific Employment Authorization Document Categories

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising the guidelines in our Policy Manual to extend the maximum allowable duration to 5 years for both initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for particular noncitizens who have employment authorization due to their status or situation. This group includes individuals admitted as refugees, refugees paroled into the country, asylum recipients, as well as those granted withholding of removal.

Additionally, we are extending the maximum validity period to 5 years for initial and renewal EADs for specific noncitizens who must apply for employment authorization. This includes applicants seeking asylum or withholding of removal, individuals applying for adjustment of status under INA 245, and those pursuing suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.

The updated guidance also elaborates on the categories of noncitizens automatically authorized to work, known as employment authorization incident to status or circumstance. Furthermore, it provides detailed information regarding who can furnish a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as an acceptable document to employers, demonstrating their employment authorization according to List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Finally, this guidance specifies that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees possess employment authorization due to their parole status.

Key Points to Remember:

1. USCIS is extending the maximum validity period to 5 years for initial and renewal EADs for specific noncitizens with employment authorization based on their status or circumstance, including refugees, paroled refugees, asylum recipients, and withholding of removal beneficiaries.

2. USCIS is extending the maximum validity period from 2 years to 5 years for initial and renewal EADs for noncitizens with pending applications for asylum or withholding of removal and those with pending applications for adjustment of status under INA 245. For EADs issued to noncitizens seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal, the validity period is increased from 1 year to 5 years.

3. The policy provides comprehensive details about the categories of noncitizens who have employment authorization incident to status or circumstance. It also enumerates the categories of noncitizens who can use a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, as a valid document for employment authorization verification under List C of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

4. The policy makes it clear that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees possess employment authorization due to their parole status.

This extension of the maximum EAD validity period to 5 years aims to significantly reduce the volume of new Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, that we receive for EAD renewals in the coming years. This effort is part of our larger initiative to minimize processing times and backlogs.

It’s important to note that a noncitizen’s maintenance of employment authorization depends on their underlying status, circumstances, and the category under which they filed their EAD. For instance, if an individual received an EAD under the (c)(9) category based on a pending adjustment of status application with a maximum validity period of 5 years, and their adjustment application is subsequently denied, their ancillary employment authorization may be terminated before the expiration date indicated on their EAD.

For more detailed information on Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), please refer to the Employment Authorization Document webpage.

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